Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Gateway Youth Aeronautical Foundation Welcomes DreamBig Entertainment Top Gun Maverick Experience

By Carmelo Turdo
The Gateway Youth Aeronautical Foundation welcomed Dewey Larson of DreamBig Entertainment during hs visit to Creve Coeur Airport on Monday. He made the noon-time stop at the Foundation while on a trip from last weekend's airshow in St. Joseph, MO to an upcoming event site in Florida. On the current tour, Larson is offering DreamBig's Top Gun Maverick Experience featuring an F/A-18 Hornet cockpit exhibit resembling the jet used in the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick movie. The visit was a great opportunity to feature the DreamBig Hornet and the Foundation's F-4 Phantom II cockpit in a unique McDonnell Douglas/Boeing aircraft heritage photo session with Dewey Larson and Gateway Youth Aeronautical Foundation Founder, Joe Steimann.

DreamBig Entertainment was was founded in 2010 to offer the public a way to appreciate aviation history through the experience of being in a real fighter jet cockpit. Since then, the mission has grown to include supporting STEM education and enhancing the value of aviation events through creative theme-oriented marketing. The Hornet joined the A-7D Corsair II and F-101 Voodoo cockpits on tour last year, and it continues to be a popular attraction as the anticipation grows for the Top Gun: Maverick movie release. 

The Gateway Youth Aeronautical Foundation uses the F-4 Phantom II cockpit exhibit as a community outreach to inspire the next generation to pursue aviation careers. In just over a year, the Foundation has refreshed and repainted the cockpit and has participated in events around the St. Louis area. The Foundation also offers other STEM-related programs, including a Bell OH-58 restoration, flight simulator lab and hands-on activities for young students. The F-4 Phantom cockpit will also be featured in the upcoming Youth Aviation Day event on June 5 at Creve Coeur Airport.

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